The Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia is envisaged to serve as a platform for collaborative research on food security among the University Consortium members and partner universities/institutions from the other Southeast Asian Ministries of Education Organization (SEAMEO) member countries. It aims to align the program of work on food security of SEARCA and the University Consortium to the development needs in the region and to support ongoing ASEAN-level programs on improving food security. The priority areas of collaboration shall addressed through three integrated components: research and development, capacity building through graduate education and training, and knowledge management.
Consistent with the currently accepted international food security frameworks and the Food and Agriculture Organization's definition, which in itself subsumes nutrition security and food safety, this Umbrella Program highlights the interrelations of the dimensions of food security as follows:
The Umbrella Program's work scope will directly contribute to ASEAN-level initiatives on food security. It is guided by the strategic thrusts of the ASEAN integrated Food Security Framework, specifically Strategic Thrust 2: Promote Conducive Food Market and trade; Strategic thrust 4: Promote Sustainable Food Production; Startegic Thrust 5: Encourage Greater Investment in Food and Agro-based Industry to Enhance Food Security; and Strategic Thrust 6: Identify and Adress Emerging Issues Related to Food Security.
SEARCA BIC has been proactive in presenting highly accessible and science-based information on biotechnology to different stakeholders as it contributes to an enabling environment for agricultural biotechnology in the region. It continues to remain at the forefront of promoting agri-biotechnology practices, particularly in the areas of science and educational communication, and capacity enhancement. It enables partnerships with various international and local institutions working together with common goal of facilitating the use of biotechnology to address the global challenges of food and energy security, environmental sustainability, and changing climate.
To prepare for climate change-related disasters, many institutions are now addressing changing climate within their mandates at the global and local levels. While these efforts are useful, relevant knowledge solutions generated by these efforts are scattered and generally inaccessible. In addition, this fragmented body of knowledge needs to be organized, packaged, and shared in formats understandable to and replicable by various users. It is in this context that the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is building up a Knowledge Center on Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management in Southeast Asia (KC3).
KC3 provides quick and easy access to knowledge resources on climate change adaptation in agriculture and natural resources in Southeast Asia through an online portal of information and media materials, dynamic exchange of science-based knowledge solutions and good practices, opportunities for graduate scholarship, research and development, short-term training, and policy advocacy, and a contacts database of climate change community members.
KC3 aims to contribute to strengthening the capacity of Southeast Asians in climate change adaptation, specifically within the domains of agriculture and natural resource management.
The knowledge solutions harvested by KC3 will be a good basis for policymakers, researchers, development workers, media, and farming/fishing communities in engaging in policy formulation or in discussing and determining policy-related interventions needed on climate change adaptation.
KC3 has received recognition during the 2009 Asia Clean Energy Forum as a finalist in the Clean Energy Marketplace Competition organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The theme of the forum was "Investing in Solutions that Address Climate Change and Energy Security"